Brexit is “done,” as the catchphrase says, and officially started on Friday 1 January. Here’s everything you need to know about money, pensions, property, and bank accounts in a post Brexit era so you can feel confident and well-informed during 2021.
Traditional advice to savers with money invested over the long term is always to make sure you are well diversified and avoid spontaneous decisions. Evaluating where to invest and whether to restore some balance due to a seismic event like Brexit is not an overreaction.
Investment experts are positive about the forecast for the UK in 2021, although the recovery may not begin until late spring or summer, when enough people should be vaccinated against Covid-19 to allow fiscal activity to resume.
Brexit’s uncertainty will intensify now that there is a deal with our past partners in the European Union and UK shares remain inexpensive.
Experts have hailed the more recent bids for British companies as a sign of renewed enthusiasm from foreign capitalists.
Although originally an EU invention, the Financial Services Compensation Scheme will not disappear after 31 December 2020. The guarantee protects up to ₤ 85,000 of savings held with banks and building societies if they go bust, as well as money held with investment platforms and many insurance and pension products.
The cap will not change after Brexit and could possibly stay at ₤ 85,000 until 2025.
Some overseas banks, like France’s RCI and the Netherlands’ Triodos, established offices in the UK before Brexit, indicating that British savers’ money falls under the FSCS. Those holding money with an EU bank’s European arm after Brexit should not change their deposit insurance, the FSCS said.
An EU scheme still protects deposits that protects up to 100,000 euros, or approximately ₤92,500.
British expats in the European Union will continue to be given annual rises in state pensions plus health benefits. This also applies to those residing in Switzerland, as well as to countries that are part of the European Economic Area yet not part of the EU – Liechtenstein, Iceland and Norway.
On private pensions and additional financial services, the Association of British Insurers said of the Brexit deal: “Although this agreement does not directly cover the insurance and financial services industries more broadly, it provides an excellent basis for positive future cooperation with our European neighbours.
The ABI says the industry has done “everything possible” to prepare for Brexit, including transferring insurance contracts and setting up EU branches and subsidiaries to minimise disruption to customers. If they are concerned, expats should contact firms directly.
For those residing in the UK who have a pension or insurance product from a company in the EU or EEA, the Government’s advice is that your cover should not change.
Brexit could be a rough time for the finances of thousands of Britain’s 1.3 million expats residing in the EU. Companies like Barclays, Lloyds, Halifax and Nationwide Building Society have been writing to clients in Belgium, Italy and the Netherlands, to name a few, for months to tell them that their bank accounts will be closed and their credit cards terminated.
This is due to the fact that these institutions do not have licenses to work abroad, as EU-wide financial passport controls expire on 31 December 2020, a strike to those whose state pension or other income is paid out into a UK bank account, or who simply want to keep a financial presence in the UK, when all customers should have been informed two months before closing.
What effect Brexit will have on the property market is hard to say because a person’s decision to buy a home is connected to other current unknowns like employment rates and mortgage availableness.
Mortgage rates are already low thanks to the Bank of England increasing the base rate into negative territory to assist the country withstand the shock of Brexit.
This means if you have a variable rate or tracker rate, your monthly payments may fall. It would also be good news for first-time buyers and those wishing to take out a new mortgage. If the rate were to increase due to inflation, which is also conceivable, it would have the opposite impact. Many people have taken out fixed-rate deals this year to avoid this unpredictability.
The housing market has performed strongly this year, with transaction levels and value up since the market resumed after the first lockdown.
One persuasion says that if people are confident enough to buy a property in the middle of a global pandemic, they are confident enough to buy after Brexit. There are already signs of a slowdown: house prices are likely to fall next year, or at least not grow as rapidly as they did before, as the effects of the pandemic catch up with the government and the economy’s stamp duty holiday ends on March 31 2021.
If Brexit results in significant job losses, this could lead and exacerbate the situation to a decline in economic activity and consequently, a fall in prices. British nationals who reside in Europe will be among those directly impacted.
Those who have property in the Schengen area but are not resident in that country may only stay there for 90 days out of 180.
British companies importing and exporting goods within the EU will have to make some alterations to this from 1 January 2021?. As with importing and exporting goods to the rest of the globe, business owners will have to file customs declarations.
These ensure the correct import duties and VAT are incurred. Import and export licences or certificates can also apply to certain types of goods.
For business owners selling to EU customers, you can apply 0% VAT – the so-called “zero rate” – on most goods.
Companies also need an EORI number, starting with “GB,” to import and export goods to the EU from England, Scotland, Wales and the Isle of Man.
For you to transport goods to or from Northern Ireland, you may also need an independent EORI number. Read the rules here.
There are new rules for employing EU citizens to work for your company, including registration as a licensed visa sponsor.
Britain is leaving the Erasmus programme, which offers financial support to students to live, work and study in other EU countries. The Government has promised to replace this with a ‘Turing scheme’ for UK students which will cover universities around the world.
Students in Northern Ireland can continue to participate in Erasmus under an agreement with the Irish Government.
In the Brexit agreement, the UK and the EU agreed to develop and put into effect new energy trading plans by April 2022. Provisional measures have been put in place, but the impact on people’s electricity bills is still vague.
The Brexit deal gives protection for customers when they shop from businesses in the UK or the EU, including online. There may be differences in the rules between the UK and the EU in the future that are not yet obvious.
The right to a refund within 30 days for a faulty product is UK specific, so this won’t change. The tariffs will not apply to EU products, so there is likely to be minimal impact on prices. Anyone buying goods from the EU costing more than ₤390 will have to pay duties.
Within the Brexit deal, holidaymakers in EU countries, as well as Switzerland, Iceland, Liechtenstein, and Norway, will continue to be given free healthcare. Individuals who hold a European Health Insurance Card can utilise it until its expiry, but the UK will launch a Global Health Insurance Card to take the place of it.
From 1 January 2021?, Britons will be permitted to travel to Europe for up to 90 days out of 180.
The EU is seeking to introduce a new visa called the European Travel Information and Authorisation System (ETIAS) by the end of 2022.
It will be like the US Electronic System for Travel Authorisation (ESTA) and is expected to cost 7 euros and cover multiple short trips over a three-year period.
You might also pay mobile roaming charges when travelling to the EU as they could be re-introduced, though the Government has enacted laws to cap them at ₤45 per month, the same level as for non-EU countries.
In the event of a hold-up or cancellation from 1 January 2021 onwards, you are entitled to a diversion or reimbursement if you leave from an EU airport.
You will also be eligible if you are travelling from a non-EU airport and travelling into an EU airport on a ‘community carrier’.
If you are travelling with an airline from a non-EU country, the carrier does not have the same obligations.
Information is based on our current understanding of taxation legislation and regulations. Any levels and bases of, and reliefs from, taxation are subject to change.
The value of investments and income from them may go down. You may not get back the original amount invested
Think carefully before securing other debts against your home. Your home may be repossessed if you do not keep up repayments on your mortgage
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